Review – UNSIGHTED
Here we are again with yet another outing by Humble Games, and to no one’s surprise, yet another excellent and highly polished title. The company has been on a roll as of recent, with games like Flynn: Son of Crimson and Dodgeball Academia. Their brand new title is UNSIGHTED, a pixel-art top-down action game with a heavy emphasis on fast paced challenging combat and exploration, not unlike another favorite of mine, the phenomenal CrossCode.
UNSIGHTED is set in the far future, centered around a specific race of “androids” who have just returned to a city after a war with humans. Said androids run on a resource named Anima, and once they run out of it, they become unsighted, meaning they become mindless and lose all sentience. As expected, the game is set during a time when Anima is starting to become scarce. You play as Alma, an android who wakes up in an underground facility with no memory of her past. All she remembers is a handful of vague visions of someone called Raquel.
The story is admittedly uninteresting, but its gameplay more than makes up for this shortcoming. As previously mentioned, UNSIGHTED is a fast-paced, top-down action adventure, much like CrossCode and, perhaps even more fittingly, Hyper Light Drifter. As you explore the world, you will come across a number of threats that will hit hard. The game’s combat is mostly about timing: block an enemy at the right time, and you’ll leave it stunned, completely open for a counter attack that deals a lot of damage. These timings are tight and require practice and paying attention in order to get good at it. Things can get really interesting when you have multiple enemies at once.
As a whole, the combat is tough, but also fair. Timings can feel tight at times, but you can always notice them in advance, with every enemy flashing in red for a second or two. You have enough to time to, at the very least, get used to how to react towards enemy attacks. Alma can equip two weapons at any time, no matter which kind. If you want a ranged and a melee weapon, or two melee weapons like me, so be it.
Unfortunately, the inventory system is clumsy, and if you don’t have a ranged weapon equipped at all times, you will be constantly jumping in and out of it, as the exploration heavily leans on the shuriken you obtain relatively early in the game. A simple quick switch feature or enabling two melee weapons and a ranged at the same time would have fixed this issue. It’s also worth noting that there are a few difficulty options for more casual players, so don’t worry too much about the difficult combat if that’s not what you are looking for.
The whole “androids becoming unsighted” schtick is also attached a neat mechanic that can best be described as an in-game timer. Most NPCs around the world are also robots, meaning that they are also running out of time, with very little Anima left, as well as Meteor Dust. The latter is an element you will be able to find around the world. You will have to make some decisions as to who to give this resource to as well, since Meteor Dust can also be used to give you a permanent healing upgrade. If they run out of time and Meteor Dust, they become unsighted and useless to your progress. Do you extend an NPC’s life or do you upgrade your health? Decisions, decisions…
It’s a good thing that there’s plenty of time to explore as well, since on top of the difficult combat, UNSIGHTED is very heavy on the exploration and puzzle solving. To progress through the world, you will need to explore and activate switches that are often well hidden and require a combination of platforming and moving boxes to get to. There’s also some metroidvania-esque mechanics with some areas being inaccessible until you gather certain abilities. It’s a ton of fun exploring the world and completing its five major dungeons.
The 32-bit art style is wonderful to look at, with the overall game being set in a very a colourful world. There’s plenty of variety as well, with each of the game’s locations looking vastly different. However, the night time looks incredibly dull at times, and the environment can often actually get in the way of the combat, making it much more difficult to know when an enemy is going to attack. Thankfully, this is the only major issue I have had with the game’s visuals, and to be fair, my only major gripe with the game as a whole.
I didn’t know what to expect from UNSIGHTED, but all I know is that I was pleasantly surprised by the results. It’s a game that features a really fun and fast-paced combat system, with some excellent world design, all tied together by a really unique time mechanic. This might be a game that will fly under everyone’s radar, but I would highly recommend UNSIGHTED to anyone looking for a good challenge or a fun world to explore.
Despite some annoyances, I cannot deny that UNSIGHTED features a pretty neat 32-bit art style.
UNSIGHTED features a pretty good combat mechanic, but it’s the in-game timer that steals the show at the end of the day.
UNSIGHTED’s sound design doesn’t do anything remarkable, but at the same time, it is still incredibly solid.
Fun Factor: 9.0
The timer mechanic is UNSIGHTED’s defining feature, bumping its overall level of quality from great to downright excellent.
Final Verdict: 8.5
UNSIGHTED is available now on PC and Switch.
Reviewed on PC.
A copy of UNSIGHTED was provided by the publisher.